New Football for All?: what lies behind the project of Kirchnerism
The senator oscar parrilli (Neuquén, Frente de Todos) had been working on first-class football television for more than seven months. It was a topic that was top of your schedule. The dissemination of his bill to nationalize 30% of the Football Pack matchesHe was the last step. And it happened two days after the resolution of the Ministry of Domestic Trade on the merger between Fox (one of the paid soccer companies) and ESPN. signed it Roberto Feletti. Both are political bishops of the same woman: the Vice President Cristina Kirchner.
Those who closely follow the topic of politics and football have no doubt: “When the lady (by Cristina Kirchner) gets an issue into her head, she advances”. What happened then for the televised football went on to gain so much importance? A little memory: exactly one year ago, the AFA rejected an offer of TeleCenter, the company of Alberto Pierreto stay with him 50% Disney-Fox in the soccer pack. Were $55 million over four years (2021-2025). That refusal did not sit well with Balcarce 50.
Days later, another negotiation was also cut short: the Government talked for weeks with Disney and with TNT (the owner of the other 50% of the soccer pack) to be able to transmit four matches per weekend of the Professional League. Disney ended up accepting, after agreeing on the renewal of his own contract until 2030. TNT, on the other hand, did not join and kept its matches in the premium subscription. Months later, the landing of Enrique Sacco (partner of María Eugenia Vidal, referent of Together for Change) to the management of the Turner sports signal further strained the relationship. At christianity (“which is not La Cámpora, nor Albertism, nor Massism”, according to the sources) got down to work to see how they could do to make the dream come true. Four games per weekend on TVP.
That was how Daniel Ferreira (former vice president of New Chicago and former spokesman for Claudio “Chiqui” Tapia, president of the AFA) met twice with Parrilli in his congressional office. Ferreiro has communicating vessels with the christianity from Leander Santoro, who headed the list of candidates for deputies of the front of all on the Federal capital. The former director of Torito de Mataderos showed the Neuquén legislator the soccer tv map. Upon consultation of THE NATIONFerreiro himself confirmed the data. From those meetings (and more information provided by other industry players), Parrilli put together his initiative, which in principle will be accompanied by all the senators of the FdT bloc. Including the vice president of the Nation, of course.
The Government’s intention to broadcast four games per weekend is still alive in the “Parrilli project”: Starting this season, the Professional League will have 28 teams. That is to say, 14 games per weekend. The presented initiative plans to transmit on open TV “30%” of the meetings of each date. that percentage equates to…4.2 games every seven days. The same four that the Government had begun to negotiate in March 2020, and whose first meeting with the companies that own the TV rights for top-class soccer was to take place in the Nestor Kirchner Cultural Center. The coronavirus pandemic postponed that initial meeting. And he stopped the ball.
The text of the initiative proposed by Parrilli also says that the two most attractive parties for the audience must be among the four released encounters. If confirmed, and beyond the fact that there is already a court ruling from 2018 that protects the rights of Fox and Turner by suspending the application of three articles of the Audiovisual Services Law, would be a knockout blow for the soccer pack, a profitable business with about two million subscribers. The clubs, in the long run, would also suffer, because with fewer subscribers there would be less money to distribute.
If on TNT the Government is made noise by the presence of Sacco (by Vidal), in the christianity it does not go unnoticed that the Disney’s top executive in the country is Diego Lerner, a friend of former president Mauricio Macri. Those who analyze the board summarize it best: “This is very simple: the fight for soccer TV is Cristina vs. Macri”.